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Constitution Day

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by thirty-nine brave men on September 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S or by naturalization, have become citizens.

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the Federal Government. It provides the framework for the organization of the U.S. government. The document defines the three main branches of the government: the legislative branch with a bicameral Congress; an executive branch led by the President, and a judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court. Besides providing for the organization of these branches, the Constitution outlines obligations of each office, as well as provides what powers each branch may exercise. It also reserves numerous rights for the individual states, thereby establishing the United States' federal system of government. 

Citizenship Day is also celebrated on September 17 to recognize people who are taking steps to become U.S. citizens. The Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are important in the United States and prospective citizens may see these items in several places on the naturalization test. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides study resources for the civics and English portions of the test and can be found here.

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Find a transcript of the Constitution here

The Founding Fathers

George Washington

George Washington  was the first President of the United States of America and served in the position between 1789 and 1797. He was aptly called the father of this nation for the important role that he played in the formation of the U.S.A.

George Washington was instrumental in forcing the British forces out of Boston as the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary forces. After successfully negotiating with the French, and holding together a fragile and weak army, he was able to save the nation from disintegration and defeat. After the war ended in 1783, George Washington retired from public view and settled down in his plantation at Mount Vernon, surprising many with this action. George Washington played a key role in drafting the Constitution of the United States in 1787. As president, he set up protocols in the new government's executive department. His singular aim was to create a nation that would stand strong even with the war between Britain and France. The Proclamation of Neutrality under his leadership in 1793 clearly spelt out the country's stand of non-involvement in conflicts of foreign nations. His other reforms included support to set up an effective tax collection system, creation of a national bank, and reducing the nation's debt to build an economically strong country. In spite of severe opposition, he avoided war with Britain at all costs and maintained peace for over a decade with the Jay Treaty that was put together in 1795. As Washington's farewell address was clearly a lesson on republican virtue and warning against support of war in foreign nations and sectionalism. 

Washington died in 1799. He has been consistently ranked as one of the greatest U.S. presidents and was the recipient of the very first Congressional Gold medal.


Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a noted polymath (a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning), leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, stateman and diplomat. Born on January 17, 1706, he was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He was responsible for some extremely important inventions during his lifetime. He came up with the glass 'armonica', the lighting rod and the Franklin stove. He is the reason behind the formation of the first fire department in Pennsylvania and the first public lending library in the U.S.A.  

Benjamin Franklin was seen as a role model due to his hard work, self-governing institution, community spirit and education. Due to his interest in science and technology, he did many experiments and became famous and paramount because of such. He established the Marshall an Franklin College and the University of Pennsylvania. He was the most honored individual because of his education, scientific and political achievements. His father, Josiah Franklin, was both a farmer and a blacksmith. Josiah Franklin actually married two wives who bore him seventeen children. 

When Benjamin was 17-years-old he ran away to Philadelphia and worked in several printer shops around town, but was later convinced by Pennsylvanian Governor, Sir William Keith, to go to London to acquire necessary equipment for establishing another newspaper in Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he served as a delegate in the Philadelphia Convention. He is known to be the only Founding Father that is a signatory of U.S. founding documents which are the Constitution, the Alliance Treaty with France, Paris Treaty and the Declaration of Independence of the united States. 


Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton is considered by most historians to be a Founding Father of the United States of America. He was the country's first Secretary of the Treasury, and can still be seen as the face on the nation's ten dollar bill. He was considered to be a political philosopher and was a coauthor of the Federalist Papers along with James Madison and John Jay.

During the Revolutionary War, Hamilton first served with the New York militia and later became an aide to General George Washington. He fought at Yorktown leading several battalions in battle. After the war, he practiced law and founded the Bank of New York. When Washington became the first President of the United States, Hamilton went to work for him as the Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was well known for his belief in a strong central government, much like the British had. 

Hamilton represented one of the two factions in the early years of the new nation. Opposed to him were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. This latter coalition opposed Hamilton's policy of trade and close relations with Britain, as well as his ideas of a strong central government. Jefferson's coalition became known as the Democratic-Republicans and a rivalry between top party member Aaron Burr developed. The election of 1800 became a competition between the top two party leaders as the Federalist's ideas had lost much of their appeal to the new Americans. Burr lost to Jefferson and became Vice President. Hamilton created the New York Post shortly after this and developed an intense feud with Aaron Burr. This eventually led to a famous duel which ended with Hamilton being shot. The day after the duel he died from his gunshot wounds. 

Learn more about all of the Founding Fathers here.

Online Activities

Video Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Barstow Community College celebrate Constitution Day?

Barstow Community College strives to educate students and community members about the U.S. Constitution and citizenship through interactive activities, events and we resources. The Department of Student Life distributes information pertaining to the U.S. Constitution and the responsibilities of citizenship.

In the past, BCC invited students and community members onto campus for an in-person event to discuss the Constitution and it's continued importance. With so many activities still taking place virtually, we have established this webpage to bring the information about the U.S. Constitution to everyone. We are also providing: 

  • Interactive quizzes
  • Information tabling
  • Voter registration information

Any events affiliated with Constitution Day and Citizenship Day will be updated each year. We invite all students, faculty and community members to join BCC's activities, events, and year-long efforts to learn more about the Constitution's historical and contemporary significance. 

How does this benefit me?

Having access to these landmark documents, such as the U.S. Constitution, gives you the right to examine and learn from the records that ensures your rights, holds the government accountable and tells the story of our nation. Barstow Community College works to ensure our students and community members can easily find civic literature, anytime and anywhere.